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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 9 accepted (22 total, 40.91% accepted)

Apple

+ - Apple Audits Suppliers, a Human Rights Win->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Last week Apple published the results of their latest supplier audit (PDF) for human rights abuses. The audit itself is greatly improved from last year including specific problems found and the action taken to correct the problem; including dropping one supplier entirely.

Highlights include ten factories employing child labor, hundreds of workers poisoned by toxins, and a trend towards even more excessively long hours. While many scoff at Apple's innovation in technology, I think we can all agree they are at least innovative on the human rights front, as pretty much the only tech company to repeatedly and openly perform audits of foreign suppliers and publish the results for all to see. Love or hate Apple, we should all applaud this and pressure other companies to do the same."

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Software

+ - Mac App Store, Success or Not?->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "The SFGate reports that the top ranking third party application in the new Mac App Store this month was Pixelmator, a $30 photo editing application that made their first $1,000,000 of sales in 20 days. That averages out to $50,000 a day. I wondered how this compared to the iPhone App Store in terms of potential income for application developers. Looking at historical data from two years ago, we see Bejeweled 2 was a top ranked app in the iPhone Apps store, which sold about 100,000 copies at $3 a piece in a similar amount of time for sales of approximately $300,000; or $15,000 a day.

I guess my take on this is that as an opportunity for profit generation, it looks like there is room for small players to become breakaway successes and earn similar amounts of profit on the Mac App Store as they have on the iPhone App Store. I'm sure some pundit will eventually perform a careful and statistical analysis of revenue/profit generation but, there does seem to be a new source of potential for profit for smaller developers looking to break into the market."

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Politics

+ - Republicans Create Rider to Stop Net Neutrality->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) submitted a rider yesterday to a bill on military and veterans construction projects. The Rider would, "prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards." It is cosigned by six other, republican senators. We all knew this was coming after the last election removed most of the vocal supporters of net neutrality and supplanted them with pro-corporate republicans."
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Google

+ - Computing Industry Misc. Settles Antitrust Case->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, & Pixar finally settled their antitrust case over illegal hiring practices according to a press release from the Justice Department. The companies apparently had a formed a cartel with an agreement to not poach employees from one another, an agreement that harmed tech employees looking for work. All companies involved agreed to dissolve those agreements and not enter into any similar agreement with other companies. Hooray for a Justice Department enforcing our antitrust laws for a change. Hopefully they'll look into those Microsoft, RIAA, and MPAA things sometime soon."
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Media

+ - No HTML5 Hulu Anytime Soon->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "The Hulu Website briefly contained a comment the other day (since removed) explaining why they would not be implementing HTML5 video for their service:

"We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers' needs... Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user."

They plan to release a dedicated application for the iPad and iPhone instead, likely a paid subscription service. Perhaps this is a good sign for Web based television as it will move more users away from the single locked down channel from the networks and to more diverse options less interested in extracting subscription fees (like YouTube)."
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+ - Webkit2->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Anders Carlsson and Sam Weinig over at Apple just announced Webkit2, a rework of the Webkit engine that powers Chrome and Safari. This new version of Webkit incorporates the same style of split process model that provides stability in Chrome, but built directly into the framework so all browsers based upon Webkit will be able to gain the same level of sandboxing and stability. Appleinsider has a writeup. Both Palm and the Epiphany team are going to be happy about this."
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Graphics

+ - CSS 3 - 3D transforms come to Webkit->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "For some time now Apple developers have been playing with CSS3's 3D transforms for graphics in Webkit, but unless you had a copy of Snow Leopard, there was no good way to try them out. Arstechnica reports that the latest Webkit nightlies, as of last weekend, now enable this feature on Leopard, so curious developers who have OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and who are willing to download the latest Webkit, can now experience the 3D graphical goodness themselves. The transforms are offloaded to the GPU and build on the 2D transforms the Mozilla team invented and implemented. The 3D version has already been submitted to W3C as a potential new standard. Whether you have the latest Webkit or not, you can take a look at a demo of a new photo browser using the technology created by Web developer Charles Ying. The results are impressive, if a little heavy on the eye candy for my Web browsing preference."
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Education

+ - Maine expands laptop program, Macbooks for G 7-12->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "The state of Maine announced last March their intention to expand their laptops for students program, called the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). Since 2002 the state of Maine has provided an Apple laptop to every student in the 7th and 8th grades, one of the largest educational laptop programs of its kind. Cnet reports that the new expansion is finally rolling out, providing MacBooks for all students in the 7th through 12th grades. They currently have an order for more than 64,000 laptops with another 7,000 or so soon to be ordered along with accompanying support, services, and educational software from Apple.

Governor Baldacci is quoted as saying, "We are going to revamp our laptop program and turn it into a powerful tool for the entire family. Every night when students in seventh through 12th-grade bring those computers home, they'll connect the whole family to new opportunities and new resources." He's referring to software preloaded on the computers that connects parents to state run employment and educational resources.

Many similar programs exist around the country and the world, have experienced varying degrees of success. I wonder if such a program can be cost effective in the long run compared to the lower cost of netbooks and with the existence of educational focused Linux distributions. For now, the state seems very happy with this program and the results they've seen from it."

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Internet Explorer

+ - Microsoft and EU Have IE Antitrust Solutions->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Arstechnica reports that the European Commission is distributing a questionnaire to PC makers asking about a potential remedy for the Internet Explorer situation. Their remedy seems to favor requiring Microsoft to include alternative browsers with Windows. It asks specifically about how many and which browsers should be pre-installed with Windows. It also goes on to ask several questions about whether PC makers are being pressured by Microsoft on the IE antitrust issue.

At the same time Cnet reports that Microsoft has informed PC makers (via a memo) that they will not be shipping IE 8 included in Windows 7 within the EU for OEM versions. PC makers will need to add IE to computers they ship, if they so desire. This differs from a similar remedy the EU enforced with regard to Windows media player in that Microsoft will not be offering any version including IE to OEMs within the EU.

It seems from the difference here that Microsoft is attempting to cut their losses within the EU and voluntarily commit to measures to limit the market damage of bundling IE, in the hopes that the EU's stricter measures will then be abandoned. In this way Microsoft can continue with business as usual outside of the EU and with regard to Win XP and Vista and count on IE's large market share in the rest of the world to persuade PC Makers to include it within the EU as well. Obviously this is less of a threat than an EU remedy that forces the inclusion of alternative browsers within the EU, giving Web developers there the option of targeting something other than IE. One thing is certainly clear, the EU commission and Microsoft have differing plans that have not been reconciled."

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OS X

+ - OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Announced->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Appleinsider's coverage of the WWDC notes, "Apple on Monday offered attendees at its annual developer conference an overview of its nearly finalized Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system, which the company said will be available in September as a $29 upgrade for users of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard." In addition to the approximate release date and price, the article details some of the features and improvements in the Snow Leopard update to OS X. These include: performance enhancements, 64 applications, smaller footprint, Exchange support, updated "Cocoa" Finder, some minor UI improvements, Safari 4, and a new version of Quicktime."
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Microsoft

+ - EU to Microsoft, the Antitrust Issue is Not Over->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "The BBC is reporting that the European Union Commission has preliminarily concluded that Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer and Windows is a violation of EU antitrust law. The commission has given Microsoft eight weeks to respond before moving forward with the issue. Apparently since the US Dept. of Justice failed to correct the problem after their conviction for the same act, the EU has decided to give it a go."
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Software

+ - Safari 3.2, quietly released-> 1

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Yesterday Apple quietly slipped out an update to their Safari Web browser to version 3.2, notable in that it finally adds anti-phishing technology an area where it has lagged competitors. Aside from that, it provides some security fixes, improved javascript performance, and a slightly newer version of Webkit, pulling their Acid3 score up to 77. Appleinsider covers the update in a short article."
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Technology (Apple)

+ - Apple's SproutCore, OSS Javascript-based Web Apps->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "AppleInsider published an article about Apple's new SproutCore Web application development framework, utilizing Javascript and some nifty HTML 5 to create a "cocoa-inspired" way to create powerful Web applications. Apparently Apple built upon the OSS SproutIt framework developed for an online e-mail manager called 'Mailroom'.

Apple used this framework to build their new Web application suite (replacing .Mac) called MobileMe. Since SproutCore applications rely upon JavaScript, it seems Apple had good reason to focus on Squirrelfish for faster JavaScript interpretation in Webkit. Apple, reportedly, hosted a session last Friday at WWDC introducing SpoutCore to developers, but obviously NDAs prevent developers from revealing the details of that presentation. Perhaps Apple is getting serious about Web applications and services or perhaps they're just worried about the Web becoming even more proprietary as Silverlight and Flash battle it out to make the Web application market built upon one proprietary format or another. Either way, this is a potential alternative, which should make the OSS crowd happy."

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The Internet

+ - Apple Releases Safari 3.1->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "Arstechnica reports Apple has released version 3.1 (a point release) of their Safari Web browser. I manages a score of 75 on the Acid 3 test, which is the highest of stable releases to date, but still significantly behind the nightly releases of Webkit, which score 93. This release seems mostly related to performance enhancements, with much improved (native) javascript.

Other interesting highlights include:
  • CSS animations (here's a demo of some working animations)
  • CSS 3 web fonts
  • HTML 5 media support (video and audio tags)
  • HTML 5 offline storage support.
  • SVG improvements


All in all, this looks like an evolutionary move, rather than revolutionary, but it is pioneering some of the newer Web standards. Now if only the EU would force Microsoft to keep up in standards compliance, Web development could be making some real progress."

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Emulation (Games)

+ - Parallels 3.0 Announced, 3D graphics included->

Submitted by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) writes "For some time now a lot of us having been waiting to see who managed to bring 3D graphics to a Windows emulation/virtualization solution. It looks like Parallels is going to be the winner. They announced today an RC of Parallels 3.0, the final to be available "in a few weeks." For anyone else tired of bootcamp or rebooting to play a Windows game, it look like the answer is finally here.

I'm not counting out VMWare entirely. Obviously it will depend on how soon they can catch up and the relative quality of the solutions, but there is some serious first-mover advantage here. There is also some speculation on the forums that Parallels is rushing this out in order to sell product before Apple steals their thunder with virtualization support in Leopard (but I think that a bit unlikely). In any case, it looks like one more roadblock for switchers has just been knocked down."

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